09/07/2011 4:28PM

Arlington Park: Caleb’s Posse poses happy question

Tom Keyser
Caleb's Posse, with Rajiv Maragh up, wins the King's Bishop.

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - There is no clear path lying in front of the 3-year-old Caleb’s Posse early this fall, but the challenge of finding the right course to take with the horse is a situation his connections don’t at all mind, not when Caleb’s Posse comes off a Saratoga meet in which he won two Graded stakes, including the Grade 1 King’s Bishop over 2010 2-year-old champion Uncle Mo.

“I guess it’s one of those things on your to-do list if you’re in racing, to win a Grade 1 at Saratoga,” said Donnie Von Hemel, who trains Caleb’s Posse for McNeill Stables and Cheyenne Stables, and who, indeed, had never before taken down a Grade 1 at The Spa. “To beat a champion, that felt great.”

Caleb’s Posse won the King’s Bishop on Aug. 27 and was back in his Arlington stall to sleep on the night of Aug. 28, and after a couple walk days he has resumed regular training here.

“It looks like everything is good to go with him,” Von Hemel said.

What lies ahead, however, won’t be determined for at least a week or so, Von Hemel said, and there are myriad avenues Caleb’s Posse could take. The $250,000 Gallant Bob on Sept. 24 at Parx is one possibility. That race is at six furlongs, the distance over which Caleb’s Posse won the Amsterdam at Saratoga, and is restricted to 3-year-olds. Caleb’s Posse also could be sent out against older horses in a sprint race, or stretch back out to a slightly longer distance with an eye toward the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile. Von Hemel said shipping will probably be required, and that Caleb’s Posse’s next race will be used to determine his suitability for the BC Dirt Mile or Sprint.

“We’ll pick an avenue and use that as a measuring stick on whether he’s a Breeders’ Cup horse,” Von Hemel said. “We just have to come up with a plan.”